Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site: http://www.observer-reporter.com/section/BLOGS08

Monday, November 10, 2014

Post-Jets thoughts

Call it a letdown, trap or whatever you'd like. But this was definitely a game that had danger written all over it.

The Jets like to sloppy things up and play that style of game and the Steelers played right into their hands.

Four turnovers? Really?

And by their two best offensive players.

Blame Mike Tomlin and his coaching staff all you want, but the defense played its' collective behind off and the team's two best offensive players both committed two turnovers.

Think about this: How much of the outcome of this game changes if Ben Roethlisberger doesn't throw his two interceptions, both of which came well into Jets territory?

Even if they just get field goals there, is it a different outcome? Perhaps.

New York did very little offensively after the first quarter. In fact, in the final three quarters, the Jets looked like a team trying to allow the Steelers to come in the back door for a win.

Michael Vick got more than half of his 132 passing yards on one play and had 33 yards passing in the second half.

And the Jets had 57 of their 150 yards rushing on nine carries on the opening drive. After that, they averaged 3.3 yards per carry. And that includes Vick ripping off a couple of decent gains.

The Jets turtled and the Steelers couldn't take advantage.

@ This was a missed opportunity to be sure, but it's not the end of the world.

Going into this weekend, I figured the Steelers would go 2-1 in their remaining road games not against the Bengals.

This loss just means that they now have to beat the Titans and Falcons.

Given this loss and the fact the Tennessee game is being played in prime time, I expect the Steelers to get that one.

The game against the Falcons will be difficult but not impossible to win, especially if the Falcons have mailed things in at that point, which is highly possible.

And heck, given Cincinnati's current issues, it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Steelers could get a sweep of the Bengals.

The bottom line is that this is still a 10-win team at the least. And 10 wins gets you into the tournament.

@ That said, the Steelers had better figure out their issues on the road. Roethlisberger has five TDs and four interceptions in five road games this season. He has 18 TD passes and one interception at home.

@ Even though I know they've been working on it, I don't like using James Harrison in the goal line package.

Isn't that why you carry three tight ends - or even Mike Adams?

@ I would have run a QB sneak on first-and-goal inside the 1. If your 250-pound quarterback can't get into the end zone following your Pro Bowl center and future Pro Bowl right guard, you don't deserve to score.

You also don't deserve to score when your 250-pound running back gives eight yards of ground.

@ Everyone is down on Tod Haley again because the Steelers ran several screens early on. But that was a way to slow down New York's pass rush, which came into the game with 25 sacks.

The Jets countered by dropping eight guys quite a bit.

@ I would have gone for a first down or touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 5 early in the fourth quarter, but I understand why Mike Tomlin went for a field goal that Shaun Suisham promptly missed.

A field goal would have made it a two-score game and the Jets were in complete turtle mode.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

How the heck do you pin that first INT on Ben?

Easley said...

America's most bi-polar team strikes again, and all the excitement and optimism of the past two weeks goes up in a puff of smoke. It would be too simplistic to pin this all on the head coach, but then again, Bill Belichick never loses games like these. There is something fundamentally wrong with a team that continues to lose to inferior oppoenents year after year.

Mark said...

Easley: "Bill Belichick never loses games like these."

I think you forgot when they got blown out by on the road at Washington this year.

John Kang said...

What I don't get is that the vertical passing game has served us well. I get that the Jets' front 7 is awesome, but so were the Ravens and Colts.

John Kang said...

Also, when a team is in "victory formation," when is the play dead? When the QB touches his knee, or when he is touched by an opposing player?

Because I don't think Mike Mitchell touched Vick before the latter spiked the ball. I know it's a moot point, and the officials blew the play dead anyway, but I really would like to know.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had been wrong but I predicted a this loss in Sunday's post.Ben was bound to cool off. I had doubts about the o-line and they were manhandled by the Jets. Dale is talking about sweeping Cincy,disposing of Tenn and Atlanta. How you can you trust this Steeler team? They lost to Tampa freaking Bay at home!
I cannot take them as a serious contender until they stop burping up games like this.

ibygeorge said...

The Defense was relatively good.
Holding the opponent to only 20 points for this defense is commendable. It’s amazing how the coaches are able to adjust to what the opponent is giving them. Considering this isn’t your father’s Steel Curtain.
We know for this team to succeed the offense has to score alot. What with the personnel on this offense, how it can go into the 4th quarter with only 2 field goals. Without getting one anyones case, I guess the old saying holds up, good defenses stop good offenses

Easley said...

Mark said...

Easley: "Bill Belichick never loses games like these."

I think you forgot when they got blown out by on the road at Washington this year.

>>>>

Pats haven't played Washington this year. I assume you're talking about the Chiefs, who are 6-3. I'm talking about games against teams that are 1-8.

marc said...

people can try to put lipstick on this pig, but I'm not buying it.

defense did not play well. dropped interception at the goaline, gashed on the ground, consistently out of position, d-line blown off the ball. did a lot of that happen in the 1st quarter and then the defense got better - yes. but the first quarter counts too. maybe they improved because they were so embarrassed to be losing 17-0 after one quarter.

offensive game plan sucked. yes, screens offset a strong pass rush, but the jets don't need to blitz to get a strong pass rush. steelers failed to take advantage of their biggest mismatch - WRs vs. DBs. I'm not a big fan of the 5 WR set, but this was the time to do it. spread the defense from sideline to sideline and force the LB's to guard to miller, bell and force anyone to guard brown or even Bryant deep. first pass to miller was with 3:03 left in 3rd quarter - poor.

why the heck wouldn't they go for it down by the goaline? try to get something going and if you fail then put the defense in position to make a play.

regarding suisham, I really don't know how he missed that kick, but he nailed that 53 yarder and kudos to him for making it. that gives some confidence for down the road on the longer tries.

lastly, the players executed for crap, but I do believe coaching was a big part of this loss. whatever they did to prepare for this game was crap and it came out like crap. the fact tomlin's teams are consistently so poor against such bad teams is bothersome. it reeks of a "week off" mentality when these games come along on the schedule. is that a players' coach?

dale, do you take optimism pills every day? I don't know how you do it.

I guess we will find out next monday how well they prepared this week. who knows with this bunch.

Theosa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theosa said...

What else is expected from a defense that is missing multiple starters and is down to their third backup at some positions? Defense played reasonably well and offense is responsible for this loss which is loaded with players that are breaking individual team and NFl records. Here is the bottom line, 2014 Steelers are a good home team and a bad road team. And the Steelers offense is a finesse offense and is as good as their OL play on a certain day.

Blame Haley for the loss for calling short passes and screens and applaud Ben for his two 6 TD games, yeah right!

Mitchell’s attempt was an unnecessary and dirty play, he’ll hear from NFL soon.

Here’s John Harbaugh on Steelers, "That team beat us last week and then went and got their ass kicked this week." I’m sure coaches and players talk like that off the record but it also shows he is still reeling from that loss.

No matter what people say Tomlin has a track record of losing to teams that have a losing record. I’m sure any struggling team has Steelers on their wish list to relive them some of their pain.

joe said...

harbaugh is a first class douchebag.

inconsistent describes this season, and it will all season. no need to get to high with the wins, or too low with the losses.

marc said...

I applaud them all when they pump out 6 TD's. and when they lay a turd, I will call them out for it too.

as dale has said so often, it's a game of matchups. for some reason, the game plan had the steeler's dinking and dunking when their advantage was in one-on-one matchups in the receiving game. the jets have been getting torched by TE's yet miller gets his first pass near the end of the 3rd quarter. the steelers needed to go down field in this game early and often. roll #7 out away from pressure attack with your greatest strength against their greatest weakness. the game plan sucked.

Anonymous said...

Just when you think the Steelers have turned the corner and are becoming a good team, Mike says “Ah ha, not so fast”. This not only gets old, but frustrating for Steeler fans. The Steelers beat good teams only to follow it up by losing to truly bad teams. If the statement by Henry on the Game Day thread is true, that “Tomlin is 1-8 against teams with records below .200 %.” Tomlin has little motivational skills.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, Noll will be remembered for the 4 Superbowls, Cowher for tough nose defenses and Tomlin’s legacy will be losing to truly inferior opponents. While each coach had his flaws and down cycles, Noll was affectionately known as “the Emperor”, though not to his face. Maybe Tomlin can be known as “the Great Motivator”.

I think I found a way around the fan frustration. Most Steeler fans can accept an upset a season but don’t understand how it’s possible to do this consistently, so we need a name for this unique phenomenon. You’ve heard of Marty ball? When the Steelers lose to a dredge, we’ll call it Mikey ball.

So you run into a friend who missed the game and he says “How’d the Steelers do today?” You respond “They played Mikey ball.” Everyone understands the term/standard, there’s no yelling, arguing, cursing. You both smile and talk about the Penguins.

Last week, Joe Greene talked to the players and told them to kick butt, it worked. Unfortunately, there was no one there to motivate them this week. Maybe this coming week, the rally cry for the troops is win one for Whiz…er I mean Munch…. maybe.

Mikey, you better not go to Nashville this week and play Mikey ball, otherwise the fan base will wishfully wonder what could have “ben” if Whiz or Arians were the head coach.

Dale, for those of us that don't drink, beat the wife or kick the dog, thanks for giving us a place to vent.

Theosa said...

Steelers were not going to set off fireworks on the road against team that had a good front and a coach who knows this team very well. Haley did not commit the four turnovers, you take those away and Steelers win that game.

And agreed, Tomlin has a pattern of losing to more than one team that are bottom feeders since 2012, and it will be part of his legacy with Steelers. He also beats the teams that Steelers had little business beating. Unpredictable and inconsistent are words to describe Steelers of late.

Anonymous said...

Mikey, you better not go to Nashville this week and play Mikey ball, otherwise the fan base will wishfully wonder what could have “ben” if Whiz or Arians were the head coach.

>>>>>

There is a certain irony in this statement as it was the fan base that all but tarred and feathered Bruce Arians.

And I was one of them, so this isn't an "I told you so" comment, but rather a lesson I've learned post-Arians that coaches don't coach in a vacuum. There are myriad reasons for these losses.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe Tomlin can be known as 'the Great Motivator'."

Or the Great De-motivator?

At least he (probably) won't be promising to "unleash hell in December" again.

DD said...

Be as positive as you want. There is absolutely no excuse to lose to these teams. Parity is real but so is the fact that the head coach, without fail, loses to teams that are in complete disarray. If I continually failed to complete the easier tasks at my job, I would be unemployed. That is a fact. There is not a person on this blog or any other that thought this game was going to be easy. And that in and of itself is just sad. We all knew deep down we would lose this game. History does not lie.

adamg said...

One thing I think the Steelers will have to address in the off-season is Beachum at LT. He seems unable to handle the better, stronger DLs one-on-one. Techinque can only take a player so far. Maybe Adams gets another shot and if he can succeed, the Steelers are much better off with Beachum and the jack-of-all-trades and Wallace as game day back up OL.

How bad really are the Jets? They lost to GB, Chi and Det by a TD. They came within 2 pts of beating NE, losing on a blocked winning FG. Maybe had Ryan gone with Vick from the beginning, NYJ have 3 or 4 more wins.

marc said...

I came across snap counts for the game. amazing that cortez allen didn't play a single snap in that game.

also, strange that mcullers helped spell cam Thomas at DE instead of tuitt, according to the article I read. regardless, I didn't notice any stand out performers on the d-line, so I'm thinking mcullers didn't play that well. your thoughts on the d-line, dale?

Anonymous said...

the Bucs and Jets have three combined wins this season. Two of them have come against the Steelers.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

The turnovers were big but the Jets didn't truly capitalize on them, imho the old redzone foes were critical, 4 trips to the red zone, came up with 3 points, terrible. I saw this one coming since they lost to Cleveland, after that loss i told the wife: " I bet they'll win the next three games and then they'll loose to the Jets".
Season is not over though, hopefully they win the next two and move into contention again.

Dale Lolley said...

I put say it's Ben's interception because that's how they're scored. They don't call them quarterback interceptions and team interceptions. They're all put on the QB, regardless. He threw it into coverage. Bryant cut his route off one step too early, but it's Roethlisberger's interception.

When the QB takes a knee, he is giving himself up, therefore the play is dead.

If Mitchell causes a fumble on that play and the Steelers recover, is it a good play then? It was a one-score game. I don't have a problem trying to make something happen.

And considering the offense coughed the ball up at the 20 for one of the Jets' TDs, the defense did well to give up 20 total points.

Bobby Gust 'drazl' said...

Well on a positive note Steeler Nation kept up their end. The turn out in NJ was staggering. Did you notice Vick call a time-out near the goal line. I'm sure their will be some other excuse but I was there and crowd noise was a contributor. The Jet fans sitting around me and I had a good laugh. For what it's worth Jet fans are as bad as we are. To a man (and one woman) they all said we didn't win that .... Steelers lost it. I tend to agree :-) Was my daughters first game all decked out in her Ward jersey and to keep things in perspective on the ride home I got a "I had a good time Daddy even if the Steelers didn't win." (she's 7) Thanks for the Blog Dale and thanks all you posters who know a heck of alot more about football than I do.

Anonymous said...

David DeCastro is not playing close to a pro-bowl level so far this season. There are way too many guards in the AFC playing much better than him. If he were to get a pro-bowl nod then it'd just go to show how flawed the system still is.

adamg said...

marc, I saw Cortez Allen playing on STs.

I think the turning point came early with NYJ possessing the ball for almost 8 minutes of the first qtr. That can't happen despite them only getting only a FG out of it.

marc said...

I don't think they were including ST snaps.

Anonymous said...

Tough loss for sure..

And another cheap shot to big Ben.. But this time it didn't light a fire under him..

It seemed as though Ben's arm was a little weak and wondered if the previous two games had anything to do with it?

Zeke

Anonymous said...

"I put say it's Ben's interception because that's how they're scored. They don't call them quarterback interceptions and team interceptions. They're all put on the QB, regardless. He threw it into coverage. Bryant cut his route off one step too early, but it's Roethlisberger's interception."

Dale: I have no idea what you mean. He had Bryant open. He back shouldered the throw. Bryant failed to put his body between the DB and the ball. That should have been a TD.

Dale Lolley said...

The DB was sitting on that route. Yes, Bryant didn't make a good play on the ball, cut it off one step too early.

The point about that being how they are scored is simple. They don't say Bryant threw the interception, it's credited to Roethlisberger, period. He didn't play particularly well. Underthrew some other passes that could have been picked. Wasn't his best day.

DEL jzc said...

Just for the record the 1-8 record thing being thrown around is incorrect.

If you say "under .200" and count all the 0-1 teams in week 2, Tomlin is actually 9-7 record.

If you say ".200 or lower" and throw out all the 0-1 teams, then Tomlin has a 13-8 record.

Anonymous said...

@Del jzc

I appreciate, probably more than most, that you set the record straight. Hell, I’m an auditor, so I’m leery of numbers being tossed around in just about any situation and “facts” on the internet. I qualified my comment with IF the statement is true. Your numbers make the situation more palatable than 1-8, though not necessarily acceptable. The reason it’s not acceptable is that those type of losses have prevented the Steelers from reaching the playoffs the last couple of years. Kudos for your efforts.

Patrick said...

looking at one of the articles in the PG, how is the media just starting to complain about the steelers inability to take care of business against inferior teams?

It has been going on since 2009, even though some of the poor performances against bad teams ended up being ugly wins. When that happened, they were somehow considered "gritty" and able to "pull one out" (that what she said).

But now, we all know they can't beat the bad teams and no one knows the reason. I don't know the reason either. But I don't care if the Jets lost all of their games by 1 point or the refs screwed them in all of their 8 losses. It doesn't matter. The Steelers can play better than they did on Sunday. That isn't an opinion, that is fact. If they played the way they are capable, we would be discussing whether Martivis Bryant would have been ROK had he started day 1 and the word "jets" might not appear in this thread.

If the Steelers somehow manage to do this against the Titans next week, we can write off the season and start talking about next. They aren't getting into the playoffs at 9-7 and the schedule doesn't allow any more games like the one against the J E T S jets jets jets.

adamg said...

The point is, there is a difference between a team with a bad record and a bad team. For, ex, Clev for most of the last decade came by their bad record honestly. The Jets have a bad record, but they aren't actually a bad team. They have a glaring weakness at one very important position, qb.

deljzc said...

The media (including Dale) is always the last to start asking the tough questions.

As stated before, there are problems with playing down to competition. Dale writes it off as "the new NFL" and all the teams are bunched together talent-wise because of the salary cap and practice restrictions.

But others still proclaim this is a "quarterback" league (which should put the Steelers at a much higher playing field).

Both don't explain the inconsistencies week-to-week we see from this team across the board (offense, defense, special teams). That has to fall on coaching. Has to.

There is a good quote I heard somewhere: "The best way to judge your talent is on the road." And the feel good blowouts the last couple weeks doesn't change the fact we have a pretty average talent team right now.

Anonymous said...

Dunno bout all that. But it is long past tiresome all the rationalizing that goes to make unacceptable losses somewhat acceptable. "That POS opponent that just beat them is somehow way better than their record indicates". "Easy out for most teams, but this POS opponent presented a unique matchup challenge for the Steelers." "Few road teams win on a Thursday following the first lunar eclipse after a corn harvest." Heck with that. Unacceptable loss. So was TB. So were so many others the past few years. Just call it what it is. A pig by any other name is still a pig. But I suppose Colbert pied that pipe for others when 8-8 went from unacceptable in 2012 to encouraging in 2013.

qwikdoc said...

If Ben didn't throw 2 interceptions. If AB didn't fumble the ball. If the defense didn't basically stand aside and let the Jets run at will early in the game. Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah.
This team has lost 8 of its last 9 games against teams with a .200 record. That is a trend and until they figure out why they come out flat in those games, we will not feel secure about games like this week's match up against Tennessee.
Good teams don't lose those games. How did Denver play against Oakland? What have we done against Oakland recently? There's something wrong when you feel better about your team playing a top team than when they play a bottom feeder.

marc said...

to help keep things accurate, I looked up tomlin's record against bad teams.

I only considered games against teams that have played at least 5 games that season. reason - an 0-4 or 1-3 team is not necessarily horrible since it may be too early in the season to tell. coughlin's giants teams were good examples of that.

against opponents with less than .200 winning %, tomlin is 6-3.

against opponents with less than .300 winning %, tomlin is 16-8.

now, this does not evaluate the "quality" of play in those games, just the outcome. and keep in mind it does not include games earlier in the season. good example is that tampa bay from this season is not included, though they are a horrible team.

nonetheless, the record is not horrible as made out to be. however, subjectively speaking, there is clearly a decline in play when these games come along. for you fact checkers out there, I used pro football reference for the data.

as my dad used to say when playing really bad teams, "let's jump on them from the very start and keep our foot on their neck the whole game."

Anonymous said...

The record against losing to bad teams is not as horrible as people claim because those people are suffering from confirmation bias.

You are more likely to remember something when it fits your narrative or belief. They're also being emotional, and not rational, b/c this is sports we're talking about.

Anonymous said...

How does Tomlin go 1 and 8 in away games against teams with a 200% or below winning pctg.?
It appears he, his staff, and Big Ben don't bother to properly prepare for these teams and that isn't indicative of a championship type team or coach!